Lake Merritt Mediterranean Garden Volunteers

The Mediterranean Garden at Lake Merritt in Oakland, in the collection of specialty gardens that surround the Oakland-East Bay Garden Center, is a little gem. It is centered around a classical white marble well-head (fountain) that was a gift to the City of Oakland from philanthropist and bird-lover Nettie Stone Easterbrook 100 years ago. Its beds are arranged in a quartered circle design, which originated in the ancient Persian paradise gardens and spread to gardens throughout the Mediterranean. Each bed is planted according to a particular color scheme which is realized in the flower and leaf colors of its summer-dry plants. It’s a great place to spend an hour taking the sun, reading, or chatting with a friend. It’s also a fine place to visit once a month, on the first Saturday—to garden!

There is a small, dedicated group of volunteers that helps maintain this charming space, but there’s always room for more! Everyone, especially MGS members, is invited to come tease weeds and snip unruly shrubbery, gossip with fellow Mediterranean plant nuts, and cement our presence in this magical urban place. Please wear work clothes and bring gloves, a weeder and hand pruner.

For more info, please contact Nancy Swearengen at 510-547-2548 or

The Easterbrook Wellhead is the centerpiece of the Mediterranean Garden at Lakeside Park.